Question of the Week Podcast

Question of the Week episode

Sun, 8th Jun 2014

Are cremated ashes good for plant growth?

Magnolia Watsoni (c) WibblyWibby @ Wikipedia

Would a scattering of your beloved's ashes be good for plant growth? Or could it be toxic? We take this question to Head of Horticulture Sally Petit at Cambridge University's Botanic Gardens.

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  • Would cremated ashes help plant growth?

    Would cremated ashes (human or animal) have any affect on the growth of a plant? We are thinking of starting a business where we put cremated ashes in a pot with a plant, and would like to know how this would affect the growth of the plant.



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Fascinating topic, well handled. And yet I'm left pondering - given that too much or little of anything in a plant pot would be detrimental, and that human 'cremains' are 3 to 4 kg / litres, I'm wondering what plant pot volume would be about right for a product that is plant + compost + cremains. For eg, at 5% cremains, the pot would be 60 Litres - indicating more a tree business than pot plant?! Bill Jenks, Mon, 9th Jun 2014

How's about the nutritional value of someone who isn't cremated? I'd like to be buried in a pod with a tree on top. If I would be good for that tree, I can't think of a better way to recycle myself ... my own tree pumping out oxygen for other people to breathe! The business! Could even give myself to trainee surgeons, first 😃 Dean Harris, Wed, 26th Oct 2016

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